Ken’s Thursday Blog
The Apostle Paul's prayers for the people and congregations to whom he was writing are matchless. I have often used the thought expressed in Ephesians 1, “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Driving down the road or working on a project, my mind starts thinking about the people in the congregation where I serve. Their lives have blessed me, especially their faith in Christ Jesus, as evidenced by their testimony and actions.
But here in Ephesians 1, Paul offers some unique thoughts about his hopes for our continued walk with God amid life's circumstances. He writes, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength (Eph 1:17-19 CEB).
I was struck this week by Paul’s image of “the eyes of our hearts.” I temporarily forgot about the heart being the seat of our emotions, as found in early Roman culture, and expressed as such in biblical times. I had experiences when I asked a question of a person, and they explained what they were saying or describing, and I responded, "Okay, now I see." I meant that I see with my understanding (or my mind) the idea or the concept. But Paul prays that we would have enough light for our hearts to see. He wanted us to see the hope available to us in God.
Hope, as I have been said often in the last few months, is a needed commodity in these days of unrest, uncertainty, and confusion. We hope, not because of some vague notion of hope, but because of the One in whom we hope. It is hope in a person who has a vested interest in us as His inheritance, for that is who we are. It is hope in a Person who has great power, and that power is already at work in believers.
Whatever the situation of desperation may be, life can get to the place where it seems hopeless, and there is nowhere to turn. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians, a prayer we can also pray, is that we will be able to see, with the eyes of our heart, that there is no hopeless situation. As believers, we are a people of hope. We don't have to live like those who wonder if everything will be okay. We don't need to tie ourselves up in knots with worry about tomorrow. You don't have to worry about your family's unconditional acceptance, the promotions at work, your baby's health, what college to go to, what city to live in, and what life insurance policy to buy. That sounds almost too good to be true!
We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing and have entered into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are in a place where we never have to lose hope. God has called us to hope, and it is a hope that never fails.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength (Eph 1:17-19 CEB).
Oh yes, I finally remembered this chorus (thanks to someone in our men’s prayer group this morning):
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shinin' in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy
(Source: LyricFind; Songwriters: Paul Joseph Baloche; Open the Eyes of My Heart lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group)
Thanks be to God for the confident hope we have in Jesus Christ. May our eyes have enough light to see...